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Holiday Gift

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Professor Stephen Dery speaks about the research being done by the Intergrated Research Group in the Nechako Watershed in March 2018.

Research project set for watershed A

University of Northern British Columbia professor is heading a research project worth $1.5 million over five years to develop a better understanding of the effects of climate change and human activity on the Nechako watershed. The goal, said UNBC environmental sciences professor Stephen Dery, is to help Rio Tinto make better decisions about when and how much water to release from the Nechako Reservoir, created in the 1950s when the river was reversed to produce electricity for its Kitimat aluminum smelter. The company will contribute as much as half the total funding while the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is providing the rest

through its Industrial Research Chair program. It builds on previous research carried out by Dery’s team, also partly funded by Rio Tinto, and is supporting 13 students, ranging from doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows, to masters students and senior undergraduate researchers. The work, which began in July, was announced Monday at UNBC. “We’re really trying to get to the causes of the changes in the hydrology in this vast watershed,” Dery told local media following the announcement. “The water resource is really important for Rio Tinto and (so is) understanding what is happening to these water resources.”

The project will feature an increase number of hydrometeorogical research stations in the Nechako River basin, monitoring of so-called atmospheric rivers, or long bands of rain also known as Pineapple Express storms, and an attempt to project future water flows and temperatures. The Stuart River system will be included in the project. “Of course, the Stuart River drains into the Nechako just downstream of Vanderhoof,” Dery said. “It’s very important for its salmon run as well and it’s part of the watershed. So yes, Rio Tinto manages only part of the Upper Nechako proper but we want to understand everything on the watershed scale.”

Affonso Bizon, Rio Tinto’s general manger for the company’s B.C. aluminum works, said the company has seen plenty of variation in the water levels in the reservoir and wants to get a better picture of what lies ahead. “Definitely, this is going to create good data for us to make the right decisions in the future,” he said. The announcement comes as a lawsuit launched by Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations over the impacts of the diversion of water out of the Nechako remains before the courts. Bizon said the research is not related to the legal action. “This is a different process,” he said.

- Mark Nielsen Regional Staff

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Stairway to Christmas:

how to decorate stairs for the holidays T

he stairway in your house is the perfect place to show off your Christmas spirit. Here’s how to dress up this oft overlooked part of your home.

tery-operated ones are safest), wooden decorations and festive figurines can help create the holiday ambience you’re after.

Decorate the handrail Wrap the handrail with evergreen garlands and decorate them with either berries, pinecones and burlap ribbons for a rustic look, or with Christmas baubles for a more whimsical take. Wrap a string of white or coloured lights around the garlands to add some sparkle.

Decorate the walls and ceiling Ask the kids to make paper snowflakes and use them to decorate the wall along the stairway. You can also display holiday photos from Christmases past. As a final touch, consider suspending large ornaments from the ceiling. Make sure to hang them high enough so that no one bumps their head.

Alternatively, you can decorate the handrails with ribbons instead of greenery. Depending on the look you want, you can choose to use either one type of ribbon or a mix of different kinds in an assortment of colours and sizes.

If you follow these tips, your stairway esthetic is sure to please visitors and earn their praise all season long.

Decorate the stairs If they’re wide enough, put decorations directly on the stairs. Pillar candles (bat-

Gifts for 5 types of enthusiasts F

inding the perfect gift isn’t always easy, especially when the person you’re shopping for is passionate about things you don’t know much about. Here are some gift ideas for five types of enthusiast. 1. Coffee lovers. An insulated travel mug, beans from a local roaster, an espresso maker, a conical burr grinder, coffee flavoured chocolates, double-walled coffee glas­ses, travel coffee press or coffee-scented candles. 2. Yarn crafters. Books or magazines with knitting and crocheting patterns, a row counter, a yarn bowl, a set of needles or hooks, a project bag, a tool case, personalized stitch markers, high quality yarn or a gift certificate to a yarn store. 3. Aspiring writers. A mechanical keyboard, a laptop tray, noisecancelling headphones, a fountain pen, perso­ nalized notebooks, a Bluetooth keyboard for their tablet, an external hard drive, books about writing or a printer.

4. Tabletop gamers. A dice bag, a wooden card holder, plastic card protectors, a board game bag, custom game organizers, a play mat, a component organizer, new dice, a custom character figurine or an expansion pack for their favourite game. 5. Environmentalists. Reusable stain­less steel or silicone straws, reusable produce bags, silicone snack and sandwich bags, a reusable water bottle, jewelry made from recycled materials, beeswax food wraps for leftovers or a vegan cookbook. Buying a gift that speaks to your lo­ved one’s interests will show them that you care.

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10 gifts outdoorsy types will love Are you looking for a gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life? If so, here are some ideas. For their next adventure 1. A portable water filtration bottle or straw 2. Binoculars 3. A kit to turn the flashlight on their phone into a lamp 4. A military grade compass 5. A down jacket or rain coat 6. A wireless charger for their electronics — one that’s solar powered is ideal 7. A portable camping stove and mess kit To inspire them 8. A wilderness survival book 9. Novels and memoirs about outdoor adventures 10. A birdfeeder to bring wildlife to their backyard To really spoil your outdoor enthusiast, consider buying them a pass that will grant them access to the country’s national parks for a year. No doubt, they’ll love exploring the Canadian wilderness.

5 ‘wild’ books for wilderness buffs 1. Into the Wild By Jon Krakauer 2. Wild: From Lost to Found on The Pacific Crest Trail By Cheryl Strayed 3. The Call of the Wild

By Jack London 4. One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey By Sam Keith 5. Lost on the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods By Cary J. Griffith

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Games to liven up your gift exchange

Are you tired of the same old holiday gift exchange? If so, here are some fun games to enliven this year’s gift giving. • Dice. Every number on the dice comes with an instruction (pass to the left or steal a gift). Take turns rolling the dice until everyone has a present. • Hot potato. This childhood favourite is just as fun to play as an adult. Turn on a holiday song and pass a present from person to person until the music stops. The person left holding the gift is out of the game but keeps the gift. • Personal trivia. Everyone wri­tes a littleknown fact about them­selves on the gift they contribu­ted. The others must guess who the information is about in order to

win the right to open the present. • Cards. Cut some regular playing cards in half and distribute card halves to all participants. Draw the other card halves from a bowl or hat to determine who gets to choose or steal a gift next. • Story. Rewrite a well-known Christmas story to include the words right, left and across numerous times. To start the game, everyone holds the gift they brought as someone reads the story aloud. Every time an instruction word is said, the presents get passed in that direction. To make sure that everyone receives a gift they’ll enjoy, be sure to decide on a budget and theme beforehand.

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Burns Lake students to attend WE Day in Vancouver The Regional staff


t came as a surprise to 14 Lakes District secondary school students in Burns Lake when they were told during a volleyball pep rally that they would get the opportunity to attend WE Day in Vancouver Nov. 19 thanks to WestJet. The students and their teacher Patti Dube are being recognized for their outstanding local and global actions. The focus for the school is food security and students participated in WE Are Silent event where they took a vow of silence for those without a voice and the WE Walk for Water event where 40 students and teachers did a five kilometre walk to fetch water from a lake to understand how that would feel if they were in the position to have to make that a daily trek as is so many people’s reality. For 30 years, Dube has challenged students to find issues they are

passionate about and guide them into action to create change in their community and further. “We’re excited to go to WE Day Vancouver and very thankful to WestJet for helping to help make the trip happen,” Dube said. “My students work hard all year to raise awareness on issues they are passionate about so to be able to celebrate with them in Vancouver will be incredible.” For the sixth year, WestJet and WE have partnered to bring students from remote areas the opportunity to join thousands in a WE Day Experience like the event in Vancouver. From across the nation, 126 students and educators will be brought to a WE Day event closest to them. The WE Day event in Vancouver takes place on Nov. 19 at Rogers Arena where more than 20,000 students and educators will be in attendance.

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Coldsnap schedule announced P

rince George’s winter music festival Coldsnap is announcing its mainstage artists who will perform at a variety of venues in the city from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1, 2020. The first evening’s performance sees a bluegrass dance party at the Ramada Ballroom starring Big Fancy from northern B.C, the Eliza Doyle Band from Saskatchewan and Foghorn Stringband from Oregon. On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Ramada will be rockin’ with hip-hop sensations Rebecca Solomon and Rich Mac from Williams Lake, Kimmortal from Vancouver and Snotty Nose Rez Kids

from Kitimaat Village. Sunday, Jan. 26, sees a specially-priced Coldsnap for Kids at the Prince George Playhouse with Kelowna-based family rock band The Oot ‘N Oots. Sunday night at the Playhouse will feature national award winning local choir Nove Voce perform along with a line up that includes Khari Wendell McClelland and the Sojourners who draw deep inspiration from their African-American history during their performance to send messages of social justice and civil rights. For the full schedule visit www.coldsnapfestival.com.

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New sawmill coming to Fort St. James 8 | T h u r s d a y , N o v e m b e r 1 4 , 2 0 1 9

The Regional staff


orests Minister Doug Donaldson has approved the transfer of forest tenure from Conifex Timber Inc. to Hampton Lumber Mills, clearing the way for construction of a new sawmill in Fort St. James. In a statement, Donaldson said he okayed the transfer because it is in the public interest. “As a condition of the transfer, Hampton has committed to build a new mill in Fort St. James that will be operational within 36 months of closing the transaction with Conifex,” Donaldson said. “It is my expectation that Hampton will continue to work closely with First Nations to develop business and capacity-building arrangements and hire local workers. In addition, it must meet with the United Steelworkers’

local, and continue discussions with Fort St. James Green Energy and local logging contractors.” The transfer consists of forest licence and associated road permits. In June, the companies announced a $39-million deal that would see Oregonbased Hampton Lumber take over Conifex’s operations in Fort St. Jame, subject to Donaldson’s approval. At the time, Hampton CEO Steve Zika said the company intends to build a new sawmill in Fort St. James and operated in partnership with area First Nations and community partners, “similar to a successful joint venture we have with the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation in the Burns Lake area.” Conifex’s existing Fort St. James mill was shut down on May 13. Nechako-Lakes MLA and Opposition

forestry critic John Rustad called the development a positive step for the community but added it took the government took four months to make a decision even though Hampton made its intentions clear at the outset. “I’m not sure what value was added to the discussion because this was the deal and the intent all along,” he said. “If it locks in the commitment, I suppose that’s a positive but having the uncertainty out there for months on end rather than getting to the deal and moving on is unfortunate.” A decision could have been made in a “matter of a month, maybe,” he suggested. Through Bill 22, passed in May, the forests minister has final say on whether a transfer of tenure can go ahead. Opposition Liberals have been highly critical of the measure, saying it creates

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additional bureaucracy that hinders companies ability to operate. Rustad said the definition of public interest remains vague and subjective. “In this case, it worked out but it may not always work out,” he said. In the statement, Donaldson said government had little say on such transactions prior to Bill 22. “Now, those companies must be fully engaged with First Nations, workers and local governments before any tenure transfer would be considered. This is one sizeable step in making sure that the people who live near the forests are first in line to benefit from that resource,” Donaldson said. The deal remains subject to “remaining customary closing conditions,” but is expected to be completed soon, the companies said in a statement.

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Gifts for the people who serve you all year long

The holidays are the perfect time to say thank you to the hairdressers, bus drivers, babysitters, ba­ristas and many others who regularly serve you. If you’re wondering what to get them, here are some ideas. • Pretty hand soaps • Holiday dish cloths • Scented candles • A scarf or shawl • A soft blanket • A tote bag • Premium coffee or tea • A to-go mug • A bottle of wine

• A box of chocolates If you know a little about their tastes, you can also consider something more personal like a book you think they might en­joy, a sweater or a decorative item for their home or workspace. The point of buying gifts for the people who serve you is to thank them for the positive difference the make in your life all year long. Don’t forget to include a nice card with a handwritten mes­sage expressing your appreciation.

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Christmas markets: holiday shopping at its best! Are you ready to do your holiday shopping? Would you enjoy doing it while sipping on mulled wine and listening to carolers croon? If so, head to a nearby Christmas market and take in the best the holiday season has to offer. You’ll find unique gifts for your loved ones made by local artisans and artists. If you’re on the lookout for one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothes, works of art or anything else, a Christmas market is the place to go. You can also pick up delicious goods to serve at your next party courtesy of the area’s butchers, cheesemakers, bakers and more. However, shopping isn’t the only thing to do at your local Christmas market. There’s a slew of activities that the whole family will love. Musicians and carolers will undoubtedly be there to entertain you and you can make a craft to take home with you. The little ones may even get to meet Santa himself. There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by visiting a Christmas market, so head to one close to home.

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Personalize your Christmas gifts W

hy not pamper your loved ones with personalized gifts this Christmas? Surprise your youngest with a book in which he or she will be the hero or heroine, charm Grandma with a cushion decorated with photos of her grandchildren, or dazzle your wife by gi­ving her some pretty jewellery with a personal touch. Personalized books Personalized books are great gifts for those people who love to read or play at superheroes. All you have to do is provide some information about them, and they became the hero of the story. This customization va­ries from one book to another. It may simply involve giving the hero the recipient’s name or introducing their tastes, abilities, or personality traits throughout the story. There are books for all ages and all tastes. It’s up to you to choose between an adventure story, a romance novel, or a cartoon strip; it all depends on what best suits your hero or heroine. Photos Use your photo albums to provide perso­ nalized gifts, whether they’re

meant to be practical, fun, or decorative. You can have photos printed on mouse pads, puzzles, mugs, cushions, aprons, Christmas tree or­naments, pillow cases, pencil cases, towels, bags of all kinds, wall clocks, clothing, coasters, snow globes, playing cards, piggy banks, key chains, and board ga­mes. With digital photos, almost anything can be customized. Jewellery Jewellery offers many possibilities for personalized gifts. For example, you could offer a ring adorned with the recipient’s birthstone, or a particularly representative pendant. Or, how about a bracelet engraved with a few words that show how much you cherish her.

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A personalized book can turn your daughter into a princess.

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Let your kids plan Christmas? If you’re hosting your family’s holiday party this year and you want your kids to be involved, why not let them plan Christmas dinner? If they feel like they’re in charge, they won’t even realize they’re helping. Here’s a suggested itinerary to help orchestrate the event from conception to execution. One month before Have your kids look through cookbooks and decide what to serve on the big day. Don’t worry if they choose something unconventional — it could be a hit and

become your family’s favourite new holiday tradition. Three weeks before Put your Christmas tree up, string it with lights and let the kids go hang the ornaments. Bring out the rest of your decorations and let them decide where everything goes this year. Two weeks before It wouldn’t be Christmas without the smell of gingerbread in the air. Have them bake and decorate cookies to give

to their teachers as gifts. One week before If your kids are old enough to use scissors on their own, teach them how to wrap gifts, and make it their job. Just be sure they don’t tell grandma what you got her. FIVE DAYS BEFORE Let them create a centrepiece for your holiday table. Even if you end up with a Star Wars themed Christmas, it’ll be unique and they’ll love it.

Three days before Write a list of everything you need to make the dishes the kids picked and head to the market as a family. Give each child one or more ingredients to look out for. The big day Let your kids pick the holiday music, set the table and greet your guests.

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When’s the best time to exchange Christmas gifts?

If you’re celebrating Christmas with young children this year, it’s a good idea to plan out when you’ll open the presents. Although your kids may want to open gifts first thing Christmas morning, there are advantages to putting this off till later in the day. Here are a few options to consider before deciding when to open the Christmas presents.

leap out of bed and start opening their presents straight away. By letting them open their gifts as soon as everyone’s up, you won’t have to hold them back from rushing through breakfast. Afterwards, you can have a more leisurely Christmas brunch. Plus, they’ll have new toys to entertain them for the rest of the day.

• Before breakfast: most kids want to

• After breakfast: tell children before they

go to bed Christmas Eve that they’ll only be able to open gifts after breakfast. Making sure everyone eats and fully wakes up before opening presents can be a good way to avoid meltdowns la­ter in the morning. • When guests arrive: If you have grandparents or other extended family coming over, they may want to be there to give your kids gifts and watch them

open their other presents. Consider putting off the gift exchange until they arrive. Another possibility? Allow kids to open one gift — or their Christmas stocking — on Christmas Eve. This can be a good way to help them settle down the night before and maybe you’ll even get to sleep in a little in the morning.

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Four tips for choosing the perfect toy


hopping malls have an amazing amount of games and toys of all kinds on display at this time of year — enough to discourage the most motivated shoppers. Here are some tips to find a toy that will appeal to children and parents alike. 1. Safety first Make sure your gift is age appropriate for the recipient. The packaging usually mentions the age parameters for each toy: 0-6 months, 5 years and older, etc. Toys for young toddlers should be checked to ensure they don’t contain small pieces that could be swallowed and that the plastic is sturdy. If you prefer, you can offer hypoallergenic toys that are easy to clean, such as stuffed toys, cloth books, and puppets. 2. Educational fun Toys can be both fun and educational. For little ones, think about toys with different colours and textures. For older children, there are games to develop patience, logic, and memory skills.

3. Some peace and quiet, please! It’s all too easy to be drawn to toys that make noise, such as fire trucks with blaring sirens and tinkling magic fairy wands. Perhaps this is the year to start avoiding these kinds of playthings; most children already have countless musical toys that drive their parents crazy! If you can’t resist, at least make sure there’s a “stop” button. 4. Prevent tears Avoid toys with multiple parts if the gift is not going to be unwrapped at the recipient’s home. The child will, of course, want to open it immediately and some pieces are bound to be lost before they go home. If batteries are required, make sure they are included. It is extremely frustrating for children not to be able to play with new toys just because nobody has any batteries.

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The Regional - November 2019 - Holiday Gift Guide  

The Regional - November 2019 - Holiday Gift Guide  

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